We talk a lot about the pain associated with love, and that’s an important thing to talk about – but the truth is, if your love is only negative, it’s not going anywhere – and it’s not really love. There’s this romantic idea that “love is pain”, “love is work”, “love is fleeting”. While it’s nice to think that our pain is actually in preparation for pleasure to come – it’s not a very realistic thought.
I mean, think about it. The love of your life treats you like dirt, your relationship makes you feel like a mouse, and you curse the stars when it slips away. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? If your relationship doesn’t inspire you to try for it, or if it seems like all you’re doing is trying, it’s time to let go.
Here are 7 positive changes you go through when it’s real, healthy love.
1. It gives you a partner to share your goals with.
Immature, painful love often involves one partner sacrificing their desires in order to bring their partner happiness – but true love doesn’t work like this. Your goals are just as important as your partner’s, so a partner who truly loves you will support your dreams and strive to help you achieve them.
2. It makes you want to be better.
Sometimes, we think that love will make you want to lay around the house all day with your partner, watching movies, having sex, and wasting time. Inwardly, we know this isn’t healthy – but humans are lazy creatures by design. We want to imagine that we will be happiest with less work. But real love inspires the partners to reach for their biggest dreams and take action to make them happen. Real love says “Let’s build an empire together.”
3. It makes you more considerate.
In any healthy relationship, there is going to be some “favors” tossed around from one partner to the other. Whether it’s one of you making reservations for your big date night, one of you recording the other’s favorite show (and then having the self-control to resist watching it without her…), or something as simple as making the coffee in the morning – we get better at doing things for others. True love has both partners doing this without any real effort – which makes it all the more magical.
4. It teaches you how to share.
Many of us probably won’t get to experience the joys of sharing our personal space with someone until we fall in love. (If you’ve never shared a bedroom with someone, it requires about 10x more compromise than sharing a bathroom with someone – trust me!) This type of sharing requires an intense level of trust, respect, and consideration. Once you’ve lived with a partner, you learn the true meaning of sharing. Once you share everything, you learn that nothing is really as sacred as you pretend it is.
5. You give up on controlling anything.
When you’re really in love, you realize that there is no such thing as “in control” – it’s all just an illusion. We have free will over ourselves, but we have no real influence over other people unless they choose to let us in. Once you realize that control is completely imaginary, you stop expecting so much out of other people – and you start focusing on yourself more. You learn to let go of the things that are not good for you.
6. You have more energy.
Love affects the dopamine levels in your body, which directly relates to your happiness and your sense of peace. These effects are similar to reactions users get from recreational drug use and gambling, which increases these impulsive behaviors, too. Basically, being in love amps you up – make sure you use that energy productively!
7. You fall deeper in love.
It’s crazy to think about, but falling in love… Makes you fall in love. This is because it revs up the body’s production of oxytocin, which is a bonding hormone. Love makes you want to physically get closer, and in turn, that makes you want to get emotionally closer, too. Follow these urges to nurture your love from now and into the future.